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Best Dual Flush Toilet

By: Kelly Burgess on September 12, 2017

Dual flush toilets offer good cleaning performance while saving on water

Dual flush toilets are becoming more popular with consumers because they offer the best of both worlds: water saving features plus good cleaning performance for solid waste. The "dual flush" that gives this toilet its name is the ability to choose a flush option for either solids or liquids; the solid waste flush option generally uses 1.6 gallons of water per flush (gpf), while the liquid waste option uses less than 1.1 gpf. This means that dual flush toilets will comply with the standards necessary for WaterSense certification; in other words, they meet even the lowest flow criteria. Dual flush toilets may also qualify for a rebate from your local water authority. You can search for utilities that offer rebates at the EPA website. All of the recommended toilets in this section are WaterSense certified.

Dual flush toilets tend to get "meh" scores from experts, mostly because they lag in removing solid waste compared to standard toilets, which we cover elsewhere in this report. However, if you're considering a dual flush model, we recommend the Toto Aquia CST416M (Est. $330 and up). The Aquia earns a rating of Excellent for bowl cleaning in one professional test, but just a Good for solid waste removal. It also carries a MaP score of just 500, higher than the minimum standard of 250, but well below the 1,000 score of our Best Reviewed standard toilet, the Toto Drake CST744S (Est. $230 and up) (which is not WaterSense certified, however).

In spite of all that, owners really like the Toto Aquia CST416M, saying that it is an excellent performer both in flushing liquid and solid waste -- once you master the learning curve. Many note that you have to hold the solid waste button down for up to five seconds to get the maximum bowl cleaning performance from this toilet. The Aquia dual flush has a pushbutton flush operation that is located on the top of the tank and uses 1.6 gpf for solid waste, .9 gpf for liquid waste.

The Toto Aquia CST416M also earns high praise for aesthetics. It comes in five colors and the skirted design is reported as very attractive and modern-looking. It's also easier to clean than the traditional glazed trapway design. However, some say it's more difficult to install. The Aquia has a 15.25 inch bowl height -- which is not ADA compliant -- but it also has a slightly smaller footprint than most toilets, making it a good choice if you're squeezed for space.

Glacier Bay toilets as a brand are comparatively inexpensive toilets that are sold primarily through Home Depot, and many models do very well in professional testing. However, they don't get quite as much love from consumers, which is what keeps them out of our top spot. Still, if you're on a budget and you don't mind a fairly utilitarian-looking toilet, you may want to consider the Glacier Bay N2316 Dual Flush Toilet (Est. $100 and up). Like the Toto Aquia, the Glacier Bay earns an Excellent score for bowl cleaning and a Very Good for handling solid waste in one professional test. The N2316 also has a top-of-the-tank pushbutton flushing operation, and uses 1.6 gpf for solid waste, 1.1 gpf for liquid waste.

Owners rave about the great value that the Glacier Bay N2316 represents, saying it performs very well for a very inexpensive toilet, although some say it looks like a cheap toilet. The toilet also includes a seat -- most toilets do not -- but, again, we saw complaints that the seat is cheap-feeling, or broke quickly. The seat height of 16.5 is ADA compliant and the toilet comes in four colors; white, bone, biscuit and black.

Many people who love the idea of a dual-flush toilet absolutely hate the top-of-the-tank pushbutton operation. They say pushbuttons are harder to operate than a traditional trip-lever toilet, especially for children, or they don't like not being able to store things like tissues on top of the toilet. If that describes you, we suggest the Kohler Wellworth Dual Flush Toilet (Est. $190 and up). It has a side-mounted trip lever that can be purchased as a right- or left-side installation. The lever is dual-action, push just the green lever for a light flush (1.1 gpf) or the full lever for a 1.6 gpf flush.

While there aren't a lot of reviews for the Kohler Wellworth, those we saw are mostly positive. Owners say it's a very nice-looking toilet, and performs quite well for solid waste removal and for bowl-cleaning -- in spite of using less water. The 14.5 inch seat height is not ADA compliant, but users say it's very comfortable -- they also love the round bowl. The Wellworth comes in four colors.

Wall-mounted toilets are a stylish, modern option

Wall-mounted toilets are popular in Europe, but less common here. They tend to get poorer reviews for flushing performance, but are beloved for their aesthetics. Wall-hung toilets also are easier to clean than regular toilets and make it easier to clean the bathroom floor because they use an in-wall tank system, which is sold separately and will add significantly to the overall price. Because of that, installing a wall-mount toilet often requires either a fairly extensive remodel or needs to be done as part of a new structure. Wall-mounted toilets are available as both single- and dual-flush types.

However, if you have your heart set on a wall-mounted toilet and money (and/or time) is no object, we saw the best reviews for the Toto Aquia Wall-Hung Dual-Flush Toilet (Est. $230 and up); another standout in the Toto Aquia line of toilets. When paired with a suitable tank, such as the Toto WT151 (Est. $335) owners say this dual-flush toilet is a top performer when it comes to flushing away solid waste, with excellent bowl cleaning. The dual-flush action uses 1.6 and .9 gpf, respectively. The Aquia comes in two colors and the toilet seat is not included.

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